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The conflict between Haskalah and hasidism shaped the world of Polish Jewry for almost two centuries. This award-winning study, a synthesis that offers both breadth and depth, is based on source materials in Polish and five other languages. Its subject matter is successfully contextualized within the broader domains of the European Enlightenment and Polish culture, tsarist policy and Polish history, hasidism and rabbinic culture, as well as the ins and outs of the Haskalah itself.
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Marcin Wodzinski is Director of the Centre for the Culture and Languages of the Jews, and of the Department of Jewish Studies, of the University of Wroclaw. His special fields of interest are the social history of the Jews in nineteenth-century Poland, the regional history of the Jews in Silesia, and Jewish sepulchral art. He is the author of several books, articles, and reports, the co-editor of Jews in Silesia, and co-editor of the bi-annual scholarly periodical Studia Judaica and the Bibliotheca Judaica series.Review:
`Wodzinski bases his work on a broad collection of source materials ranging from administrative documents and Jewish and Polish periodicals to ephemeral texts like leaflets and pamphlets. A selection of these materials is presented in the book, which, considering their usually poor availability, is of special value for the reader. Thanks to the wide range of documents he considers and to a thorough review of the factual information they contain, Wodzinski's work offers intriguing insights into the various facets of Jewish modernizing discourses in nineteenth-century Poland.' - Heidemarie Petersen, Slavic Review `Unquestionably one of the most important, original contributions to an understanding of the various competing trends in the culture of Polish Jewry from the end of the eighteenth century until the early twentieth century . . . of particularly great value to the new research into the Haskalah. . . Wodzinski's fascinating and important book is definitely a challenge to every scholar of the Haskalah and everyone interested in Jewish culture in eastern Europe. From now on, scholars of the Haskalah will have to re-examine themselves in the light of his new insights, and to decide to what extent the book's questions and conclusions change the general picture.' - Shmuel Feiner, Shofar `Marcin Wodzinski's new book not only contains a vast amount of information but also points the way to tantalizing new areas of research . . . the picture of ideological conflict among the Jews of eastern Europe that emerges totally contradicts the accepted wisdom. . . . Wodzinski's book is important because it extends the geographical and chronological boundaries of the subject, introduces new research methods, and utilizes new sources, particularly Polish archives that were long inaccessible to historians of the Jewish world . . . a thorough study of exemplary depth.' - Uriel Gelman, Gal-Ed `Can rank as one of the finest, most detailed accounts of the various "stages" of attitude concerning Hasidism that were part of the Haskalah movement's ensemble of aims and ideology. It strives to be as historically accurate as possible without once becoming unreadable, arcane, or dull. His expert use of various primary and secondary sources, including German, English, Polish, Russian, and Yiddish documents, guarantees a profound study that is balanced in approach and well-grounded. The appendix that offers a short but valuable selection of original sources in translation will be a highly useful tool for those teaching or studying the attitude of the Maskilim, the way in which they fought against and dealt with the Hasidim, and the higher bodies they made use of in order to reach their goal . . . All in all, Wodzinski has made an important contribution to research on Polish-Jewish social and religious history, and his book will surely be a reference work for many dealing with this key period that shaped European Jewry in ways still visible and perceptible today.' - Diana Matut, European Journal of Jewish Studies 'One of the most exciting developments in the writing of Polish Jewish history over the past two decades has been the emergence of a major centre of such scholarship within Poland itself . . . [this book] is based on an impressive amount of archival and published documentation, complemented by clear presentation and skilful analysis. A useful and expanded representative sample of archival materials translated into English rounds out this excellent volume . . . Wodzinski uses to great advantage his comprehensive familiarity with the periodical press in nineteenth-century Poland, but also utilizes sources as varied as Hasidic stories and British missionary journals. The result is an innovative and highly nuanced portrayal of a conflict that has been at the heart of the historiographical agenda for a century and more . . . Wodzinski makes a convincing case for a newer, wider perspective on the conflict . . . While not a full-fledged history of either Haskalah or Hasidism in Poland, the book makes a significant contribution to both . . . a discussion rich with new insights and information. [It] is a major contribution to both Polish and Jewish history. The Littman Library is to be commended for bringing this fine book to the English-speaking public.' - Gershon Bacon, European History Quarterly `There are still few books concerning the structure, internal disputes, and ideological discussions within the Jewish community. Marcin Wodzinski's publication is one of the most significant and seminal among them . . . The great value of this book is that it illustrates relations between the Maskilim and the Hasidim from many perspectives . . . should be regarded as suitable not only for historians but also for sociologists. This publication is a very interesting and original example of the analyses of such social practices as inner-group conflicts, the process of building identity, and rules of the prejudice formation.' - Katarzyna Sztop-Rutkowska, East European Jewish Affairs `Wodzinski's important work challenges many of the widely held views of historians about the conflict between Haskalah and Hasidism . . . Recommended.' - J. Fischel, Choice `Scarcely less valuable than his closely argued and well-documented monograph are the nineteen primary sources that Wodzinski has appended (in English translation). This collection . . . affords an unmediated glimpse at the forces that Wodzinski has succeeded so adroitly in understanding, organizing, and presenting.' - Moshe Rosman, American Historical Review
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Book Description Littman Library Of Jewish Civilization, 2009. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1906764026
Book Description Liverpool University Press, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Condition: New. New edition. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. The conflict between Haskalah and hasidism was one of the most important forces in shaping the world of Polish Jewry for almost two centuries, but our understanding of it has long been dominated by theories based on stereotypes rather than detailed analysis of the available sources. In this award-winning study, Marcin Wodzinski challenges the long-established theories about the conflict by contextualizing it, principally in the Kingdom of Poland but also with regard to other parts of eastern Europe. Covering the period from the earliest anti-hasidic polemics in the late eighteenth century through to the post-Haskalah movements of the twentieth century, it follows the development of this important conflict in its central arena. Using source materials (including many hitherto unknown documents) in Polish and five other languages, Wodzinski has succeeded in reconstructing the way the conflict expressed itself. Identifying the motives, the methods, and the consequences of the conflict as it was played out in five Polish towns (Lodz, Opoczno, Piotrkow, Warsaw, and Warta), he shows that it was primarily informed by non-ideological clashes at the level of local communities rather than by high-level ideological debates. Much attention is also devoted to the general characteristics of hasidism and the Haskalah, as well as to the post-Haskalah movements. Here too Wodzinski challenges the ideologically charged assumptions of a generation of historians who refused to see the advocates of Jewish modernity in nineteenth-century Poland as an integral part of the Haskalah movement. Extensive consideration is given to the professional, social, institutional, and ideological characteristics of the Polish Haskalah as well as to its geographic extent, and to the changes the movement underwent in the course of the nineteenth century. Similar attention is given to the influence of the specific characteristics of Polish hasidism on the shape of the conflict, especially as regard the size of the movement and the evolution of hasidic communal involvement. In consequence the book presents a synthesis that offers both breadth and depth, contextualizing its subject matter within the broader domains of the European Enlightenment and Polish culture, hasidism and rabbinic culture, tsarist policy and Polish history, not to mention the ins and outs of the Haskalah itself across Europe. An extensive appendix presents translations of nineteen important and hitherto unknown sources of relevance to a nuanced understanding of many aspects of nineteenth-century Jewish history in Poland and eastern Europe more generally. Seller Inventory # TNP9781906764029